Happy Father’s Day, my son

andrew with heartThis is a hard post to write. Not because I am tearing, or because it is overly emotional. It is because I don’t know how to start it or how to put it.  I guess the best way it to say it right from the start.

I am going to meet my grandson for the first time this weekend. Andrew’s and Jovi’s son. He is about eighteen months old and it is the first time I will see him. Dorothy was there for the birth, and Andrew and Jovi spent time with him last spring, but this is the first time I will see him.

Now for the backstory.

A little over two years ago, after they had been living together for a while, Jovi got pregnant. The two of them spent that summer in our home here in NY and Jovi did not know what to do so they waited until they returned to Boulder to take the test and it came back positive. After some thought and conversations they decided to keep the baby full term and put him up for adoption at birth. They called Dorothy and I and we fully supported their decision.  They knew, as did we, that they were too young to keep the baby, and Dorothy and I were to old to start again with a new baby.  They wanted this baby to have a wonderful and fulfilling life and the best way for that to happen was to let go of him to a loving family who would raise it as their own.  For those of you who don’t know, Jovi was adopted herself.

The next several months were pretty amazing. We traveled to Boulder every other week to take jovi to the doctor, to meet with adoption agencies, to sign papers with them, and to make sure everything was going well.  They learned about and decided on an open adoption, which meant that they would be  a limited part of the babies life, seeing him once a year, getting pictures of him regularly, and knowing how he was doing. It was pretty amazing to see this young couple mature so much and make all of these decisions and be so responsible. Dorothy and I were there to help them, but make no mistake, they decided on the family themselves, they went to court to sign the papers, and they did everything. We were standing behind, offering them advice and supporting them the whole time, but it was their process.

The family. One decision they made was that they were eventually going to return to New York and they wanted to be close to him (yes, it is a him), so they chose a NY agency to lead the placement. They looked over dozens of very detailed family profiles and had to make the hardest decision of their lives – who were they going to give their own flesh and blood over to. Andrew wanted the baby to be the first child that this couple had, he wanted it to be special in that way. Jovi wanted a family that traveled and saw the world – something she was never able to do but wanted her baby to have the chance for. They wanted a family they said that would spend time with the baby, rather than one that said that the family was wealthy and the baby would always be taken care of.  They did eventually chose a family from Long Island. Far enough that they would not be tempted to go watch him from afar, but close enough that they could feel him nearby.

They first did a Skype session with the potential parents.  I met the couple at the office before the Skype session, then they met Andrew and Jovi, and that went so perfect. They are warm and loving and we could all sense that. Then the couple went out to Boulder to meet them later on, which also went well. Andrew called us and he was so happy to meet them and his intuition told him how loving they were and how grateful his son would be raised by such wonderful people.

The baby was born in January last year, a few weeks early, happy and healthy. Dorothy arrived in Boulder a couple of hours after the birth and spend a week or so with the three of them for moral and physical support. We have many pictures of all of them with the baby. The adopting family arrived the day Dorothy left for home and spent several days with Jovi and Andrew in the hospital. Because the baby was small, and because it was an adoption, he spent a couple of weeks in the hospital. They did not want him to be alone, so Jovi was kept in the hospital as well.

People ask us if I went out there when the baby was born. No, I did not, or could not. I could not handle it and we all knew it. I spent way too much time with them during the process and was an emotional wreck at that point. If I had went out there and saw the baby, held the bay, looked into his eyes, who knew what would have happened. So we all made the decision for Dorothy to go at that point.

It was a very hard day for them when they left the hospital – alone. No matter how much you prepare for it, no matter how much you know you are doing the best thing for the baby, no matter what – it hurt them so much letting go. The baby stayed in Boulder another couple of weeks for legal reasons, and they spent time with him during those days. They called every night and told us how wonderful the couple was and how the baby was growing and eating and smiling.

They knew they made the right choice.

Andrew went back to studying, he just was in the middle of his Junior year. Jovi slowly went back to working. Every month they received pictures of the baby and exchanged e-mails with the parents. We cherish those pictures. They both had their son as their screen savers, background images, keychain pictures and on the wall next to their bed. As Dorothy and I do now.

andrew with heart2

Andrew was so proud that they changed the lives of a couple who could not have their own child

What gives us great peace is that Andrew and Jovi went to see the baby when they were here in New York. They came home gleaming and bragging about their son. That visit made their spring. The picture we love the most these days is the one of Andrew holding his son. Now it is time for me to hold his son, for a few minutes.

We keep in touch with the parents, they still send pictures, we exchange emails, they even came to Andrew’s funeral – which meant more to us than anyone could imagine. They have pictures of Andrew as a young boy, as well as a young man.  We have been writing letters to the baby and talking about Andrew and Jovi so that when he grows up he knows them through our words.

We have told people in person about the baby when we see them. Andrew’s friends tell us that he talked about his son a lot, with pride and honor gleaming from his bright face. Now it is time for me to meet my grandson for the first time. Nicole is going with us, she is excited to meet her nephew for the first time. There is so much more I want to say, and need to say, but I am going to keep that for later. I want to talk about how we feel, about the fact that a part of Andrew is still alive and how blessed we are to have him around. But more to come soon.

I hope you are as happy as we are about this. We are at a loss many times with our feelings, so happy at times when we look at the pictures, and yet so sad that Andrew is gone.

Happy Father’s Day, my son.  You’re first one in heaven. Your son will miss you his entire life.

 

 

23 thoughts on “Happy Father’s Day, my son

  1. Mike Smith

    Perry,

    I’ve been reading this blog since your first post and am continually inspired each time a new one ends up in my inbox. Thank you for sharing it all with us. I hope you find it meaningful as I can assure you your readers do. Very few people can be as forthright and open about their emotions as you have been on these pages. It has inspired me to keep note of my journey in both the good times and the bad.

    I only met Andrew a few times (I’m a friend of the Rosmans from Paramus) so I only saw a bit of the entire man; reading a little bit more about him through this website uncovers the depths of your son and is a joy. I am sure that your grandson will revel in having these memories of his father to read through in just a few short years.

    Reply
  2. Sally

    Perry,

    How lucky you for you and Dorothy that you became grandparents and of course, how wonderful that Andrew was able to spend time with his son before passing. I have no doubt Andrew got to celebrate and enjoy Father’s Day from where he is now!

    Reply
  3. Ned

    A very warm and touching story that continues with the boy meeting his grandfather for the first time. No doubt your love will help him become the boy Andrew wished he would become. Have a wonderful day, Perry; I know your grandson will.

    Reply
  4. MOLLY

    That special baby is so lucky to meet the family of his dear father.

    Wonderful addition to the baby’s life and future!

    Much love,

    M

    Reply
  5. Peter Heymann

    Perry,
    Touching, beautiful story about fathers and sons and families and life and loss and love. Thanks for sharing.
    Peace+Love,
    Peter

    Reply
  6. Leslie

    Oh, Perry, I don’t know what to say. I’m glad you’re happy that there’s a piece of Andrew out there and that you will have the opportunity to watch him grow.

    Reply
  7. Caroline

    I am sure Father’s Day was very difficult but you wrote something so wonderful and moving! How wonderful it is to have a part of Andrew still in your life! I do hope you really enjoyed your day!

    Reply
  8. Hope

    You’re inspiring Perry. Your love for Andrew is palpable and thank you for letting us all get to feel that. Wonderful that you can have a part of him physically in your life, as well as spiritually. Love the picture.

    Reply
  9. Joanne Frizalolne

    With each writng, you share more intimate aspects of your sweet Andrew. And now you have been gracious enough to share his legacy. I hope you enjoy and cherish meeting your grandson.

    Reply
  10. Mandy

    Perry,
    This is such a beautiful post. I am thrilled that you feel ready to meet your grandson. He is a lucky boy to have you and Dorothy in his life

    Reply
  11. Anon

    No not sure how I find myself on your e-mail list but we have a mutual friend. U made me
    aware of the toll death takes on someone and that nothing really takes away the lost … not even a dinner with friends, a smile, a laugh, it is all in getting back to life but the hole is still there!!!! Thank you for making me
    aware of those around me and the suffering continues as the days and months move along into years as do
    the people, calendar years, and the children move into adulthood! Life changes but heartbreak well u can
    hope the wonderful memories you shared together will over shine the heartbreak!!!!

    Reply
  12. Anon

    I hope you know that words are very powerful and you did make a difference on my perception on
    how people cope and that a smile or a laugh is not the end of grieving it is merely a wink of healing.
    Thank you!!!!

    Reply
  13. Natalie

    Before I was a parent, I never would be able to fathom what you have gone through, but somehow now, I can feel that hurt. I just want you to know that I think this is a beautiful thing you are doing and it is a great gift that you can continue his memory by memorializing him in printed word for all to read. I hope somehow, somewhere deep down inside, this gives you a little solace. I have no words to make you feel better, because I know nothing can. I hope that knowing you pulled on my heartstrings with the blog offers a reprieve, even if its a tiny one.

    Reply
  14. Patti

    Thanks for sharing your inner-most thoughts and LOVE of Andrew and grandson, with such inspiring expression…. Much appreciated warmly, Patti

    Reply
  15. Doris

    Perry,
    It’s so amazing how much Andrew accomplished in his short time here. It was such an incredible story to hear. I enjoy reading all of your posts and hope they help with the healing process. I hope you had a nice weekend.

    Reply
  16. Natalie

    I know you are away. I just want you to know that I received your email regarding your son and the ongoing blog you are doing.

    Before I was a parent, I never would be able to fathom what you have gone through, but somehow now, I can feel that hurt. I just want you to know that I think this is a beautiful thing you are doing and it is a great gift that you can continue his memory by memorializing him in printed word for all to read. I hope somehow, somewhere deep down inside, this gives you a little solace. I have no words to make you feel better, because I know nothing can. I hope that knowing you pulled on my heartstrings with the blog offers a reprieve, even if its a tiny one.

    Your daughter is beautiful.

    Reply

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